Creepy Basement Turned Modern Family Hangout

Do you want to see how we transformed a creepy, old basement that was made of concrete block into a super stunning basement with a laundry room, a playroom, a games and hangout space, and a living area? 

As we recorded this, the project is under construction, and the clients are doing a lot of the work themselves, so I am so excited to be able to see the end result and share this with you.

We started off with the colour story. These clients really wanted to keep things fairly neutral inside of the space, but I was able to sway them a little bit into using a little bit of colour. Some of the blues, some of the greens, keeping it really soft, and doing a really light floor so that everything feels super light, super airy.

Let’s just pop right in here to some of the renderings. Keep in mind, this was a completely blank space. It was all just concrete block. There’s really nothing to show you beforehand. It can be really difficult to visualize a space when it is just concrete block.

We were able to partition off this space in a way that made a lot of sense, and created just this really cozy vibe. A huge 10 foot sectional here is plenty of room for the entire family, and adding in this gorgeous shiplap detail, painting it out in the blue, added a really, really cool moment here for the fireplace and the TV to hang on a bit of a faux concrete finish here.

Large pieces of art helped to balance out this room. This is not the family, these are just random photos I found online to give them for the example. And then adding in this little sconce here adds a little bit of interest, but also serves as great task lighting if you’re sitting down here reading a book, or something like that you don’t necessarily want all the overhead lights on. Having the little sconce is a great moment.

Here’s another view of that space, and then on the other side of this room we decided to make it into a little bit more of a game space or a flex space, so that they could play some board games, have some snacks, do some homework when the kids get a little bit older. Those sorts of things.

Using large scale art is one of my favourite things to do in smaller spaces or spaces with really low ceilings. This is a really low ceiling. It is a little bit below standard height. I think it’s about seven feet, so we did want to add that height wherever possible.

Doing a really pretty wallpaper on this back wall since there is no water or plumbing in here, they didn’t need a sink or anything like that. There’s a bathroom right beside it and they didn’t want a sink in here, so that really helped to, again, create a little bit of texture without the expense of tile.

And then, there’s just another little view of that. Right next to there, you can see the microwave popping out here in the wall cut, is a little powder room here. Sink, toilet, again, some more wallpaper, and we had to do a little pocket door here in order for them to access the water shutoff that’s behind here, so it needed to be fully accessible, but it didn’t need to be out in the open. Adding a pocket door allowed us to maximize the space, because we didn’t have the room for the doors to swing without it hitting the toilet. And we also don’t have the wall space for a barn style door or anything like that, so this pocket door was a really great solution.

Going into the playroom side. On the other side of the stairs you can see that from here. Here was the stairs, and then on the other side of that is the living area. We’ve got this really great playroom/kids hangout space. Wall to wall desks. We did black part of the way up and then this little bit of molding here to just divide the space and add that little bit of interest. And then lots of floor space here for climbing, maybe a little tent, whatever the kids have. Kids toys tend to be big, so we wanted to leave lots and lots of floor space here for them.

On the opposite wall is a climbing wall, which is super fun. It’s not going to be too dangerous, because the ceilings are super low, but on the climbing wall I decided to add this little, cute mountain detail, which is just done in little one by two strips. One by two strips of wood are a really inexpensive way to add a ton of beautiful detail onto this wall as a bit of a feature wall. 

Now, this picture is strategically hung here to swing. It would be on a hinge to be able to access some of the components that we had in this space. There is a panel and shutoff behind here that we needed to make sure was still accessible. Just like in this room, this guy right here is also on a hinge.

Hinging art can be a great way to hide an electrical panel or something like that in the space, so that it doesn’t look like an electrical panel in the middle of your living room or in the middle of the playroom, and the kids are tempted to touch it and play with it.

Let’s move into the laundry room. This is where we pulled some of that beautiful, soft green into. And we can see I love adding a little hang bar above the washer/dryer, just so that we do have this sort of, fold down hanging here as well, but sometimes we just need to be able to put things on hangers, hang them to dry, hang up some suits, hang up whatever. And doing that over a beautiful stone countertop won’t hurt anything.

A couple of open shelves, just for laundry detergent, baskets, décor, those sorts of things help, again, to bring that eye up with such a low ceiling in here. Across from that, this is a hallway out into where the stairs would be. Pull down drying rack, and this is space for another drying rack, because they like to hang, they said, almost all of their clothes. They like to hang it to dry.

This is the only other piece in the laundry room here. We did some built in storage. This is for stuff like, they have some workout equipment, some hockey equipment, those sorts of things just really needed that separate storage cabinetry.

And then on the other side of this wall is the utility, which isn’t that exciting, but that’s for more their paint supplies, their tools, those sorts of things.

Hope you guys love it as much as we do. I know the clients are so super excited! Dry wall is going up soon, so I am just so excited to see it. It’s going to be a beautiful space and I hope that it gave you some great ideas for your home, and helps you become just a little bit more brave with colour.

Because, as you can see, this doesn’t have to be scary. Right? These things are re-paintable just like the walls are re-paintable. And it is still beautiful, it’s still soft, it’s not dark, it’s not heavy and it’s just so earthy, and warm.

Hopefully it inspired you to be a little bit more brave with colour and I hope that it gave you some ideas for your space as well.